Doing

Why I’m Switching to Android

I wrote about renew­ing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m chang­ing my mind. Why? A com­bi­na­tion of curios­i­ty and con­ve­nience.

I’m not going to dis­count the num­ber of posts from influ­encers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasa­ki and Robert Scoble, but the tip­ping point was real­ly friends who’ve adopt­ed Android with their lat­est phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smart­phone new­bies, their move to Android was inspir­ing. It made it seem less intim­i­dat­ing to ditch the famil­iar for some­thing a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing. I mean, I haven’t thought seri­ous­ly about a smart­phone pur­chase since I first bought a smart­phone near­ly five years ago. I wasn’t going to make this deci­sion with­out help.

Why now? It’s eas­i­er. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are avail­able and those that aren’t can be replaced with com­pa­ra­ble apps. More impor­tant­ly, I’ve come to real­ize that my depen­dence on basics like Gmail and cal­en­dar are bet­ter solved with a native plat­form. I’m also unrea­son­ably excit­ed to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubun­tu-style app launch­ers and the like. Being able to rein­vent the expe­ri­ence is some­thing that will keep me inter­est­ed as well.

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Doing

Saying Goodbye to My CD Collection

I start­ed pack­ing up my remain­ing CDs last night. I’ve final­ly real­ized that no mat­ter how often I tell myself that I’ll rip them to a dri­ve, or that I’ll fall in love with the medi­um all over again, they will only col­lect dust in a dark cor­ner of my house. Don’t believe me? Look how many times I’ve lied to myself about it!

I’m rid­ding myself of a col­lec­tion I’ve built over 20 years. With a lit­tle effort, I could turn the entire thing into a Spo­ti­fy playlist in about an hour. It’s hard not to feel defeat­ed. How often did I spend mon­ey bet­ter spent on food or clothes on music that I bare­ly heard? I’m still find­ing unopened CDs with receipts that are a decade old. Now I’ll sell them for pen­nies on the dol­lar and be glad.

I’m doing my best to not be sen­ti­men­tal about it, but it’s brought back mem­o­ries of trips to record stores around the world. My R.E.M. CDs have been with me since I lugged them to Den­mark as a 17 year old! I can still remem­ber how much I cher­ished the 40-odd albums I took on exchange. I remem­ber when my col­lec­tion bal­looned to 120 care­ful­ly curat­ed discs in grad school. I spent time man­i­cur­ing it, trad­ing in to trade up, bud­get­ing as best I could to have a col­lec­tion my peers would respect. It grew to near­ly 1500 discs when I moth­balled it in the walk-in clos­et. Now as I pack it up and pre­pare myself to sell it all, I shake my head with every obscure disc I find encased in shrink wrap.

If you or some­one you know would like to own a music col­lec­tion that imme­di­ate­ly makes it seem like you came of age in the ‘90s, you might want to stop by AKA Music in the next cou­ple weeks. It’s only fit­ting that I take them back to the place where I spent so much time and mon­ey on the music I’ve loved most.

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Doing

Why I Switched to Poster

You may have noticed some changes here recent­ly. Here’s a hint: fresh con­tent! Want to know my secret? The Poster app! Now I know we’ve all heard that the iPad is not a con­tent-cre­ation device, but I’m find­ing it pret­ty easy myself. In fact, I haven’t reopened my Mac­Book once, not even to change my blog theme!

Why do I like it so much? It doesn’t try to do any­thing more than allow you to draft, sched­ule and pub­lish con­tent. I don’t need a read­er baked into the app, or to see stats on my per­son­al blog. I just want to dive in and bang out 250–500 words about some­thing I liked enough to write about. Like Poster! If you want to start using your iPad for blog­ging, you should check it out.

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Doing

Dressing Well for the World Wide Web

2012 was a mon­u­men­tal year for me, both per­son­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. One of the things that was trans­for­ma­tive for me was learn­ing to dress well after sev­er­al false starts. If you know me, you know I came from a world of rock tees and torn jeans. Like many guys, the tran­si­tion to work wear was painful. I strug­gled with ill-fit­ting busi­ness casu­al, wore bad shoes and only got it right if I picked the wardrobe out with help from my wife. Jesse Thorn’s Put This On changed all of that for me in 2012.

I don’t remem­ber when exact­ly I start­ed watch­ing and fol­low­ing Put This On. I devoured Sea­son 1 and have been fol­low­ing Sea­son 2 with great inter­est. I even bought a Sav­ile Row suit on eBay and had it tai­lored for me! Quite a leap for a guy who used to wear a torn (and awe­some) Son­ic Youth “Sis­ter” tee to the office on a rou­tine basis.

Need­less to say, the series changed the way I viewed menswear. The mes­sage that clothes are impor­tant nev­er sank in until I start­ed to see that you didn’t need to spend a for­tune to present your­self in a man­ner that makes you stand out. Just know­ing how shirts, pants and jack­ets should fit goes a long way toward look­ing bet­ter and project con­fi­dence. The best part? I already had lots of great pieces hang­ing in my clos­et! You may, too.

As my col­lege bud­dy Tom told me once, “There’s no such thing as being over­dressed; there’s only look­ing good.” It was great advice, and I’m sor­ry I wait­ed so long to take it. Please take this advice: if you’re a guy who wants to improve his wardrobe and doesn’t know where to begin, please vis­it putthison.com, watch all the videos and read it every day. You’ll be glad you did.

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Doing

A New Look and Identity for Ramsayings

As my per­son­al blog­ging iden­ti­ty cri­sis con­tin­ues to evolve, I’m find­ing more than ever that pur­su­ing a niche is the only way to be tru­ly suc­cess­ful with blog­ging. It’s been near­ly 10 years since I launched the first ver­sion of Black­mail Is My Life on Blog­ger and I can hon­est­ly say that being a gen­er­al­ist who tries to incor­po­rate aspects of his per­son­al life is a fool’s errand, that is, unless you can ded­i­cate your heart and soul to it.

You know what’s com­ing next.

Yep, a new look and iden­ti­ty for Ram­say­ings! Yes, I’m work­ing with my Inter­net super­friend Len Dam­i­co on installing a new theme that I hap­pened across on Twit­ter this week­end (you should total­ly hire Len for what­ev­er you need that involves, you know, the web) and I’m going to focus on the social web here going for­ward. I know it’ll be a total snooze­fest for friends and fam­i­ly, but, you know, thought lead­er­ship is a thing that I prob­a­bly should invest some time in as I con­tin­ue to grow as a com­mu­ni­ca­tor on the social web.

The new theme? You know I get bored and it’s been almost two years since I installed the cur­rent theme. As much as I loved adding things like the Fol­low Suite with Roz’s help, it just doesn’t make much sense to have any­thing to speak of in the right rail. So I’ll try the new one for a while and see how it goes. Could be a real­ly cool way for me to get more moti­vat­ed to blog about the sort of work I do and my thoughts about how we’ll talk about brands in the future. Look­ing for­ward to think­ing about it more here.

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